Doncaster receives new playground

Saanich school's parent advisory council leads effort to complete $47,000 project

Seven-year-old Ryder Bright and his five-year-old sister Marley hang out at the playground at Doncaster elementary school Sunday. The new addition to the playground is shown in the background.

Seven-year-old Ryder Bright and his five-year-old sister Marley hang out at the playground at Doncaster elementary school Sunday. The new addition to the playground is shown in the background.

Students at Doncaster elementary have a new reason to hang around after school.

The monkey bars on the school’s new playground are proving to be a pretty popular place.

Staff and students gathered behind the school Friday afternoon for a grand opening ceremony for the new playground.

“They had to take out the previous wooden structures because of their age,” said principal Brenna O’Connor.

So the Doncaster PAC rallied support from parents, the neighbourhood and business community to raise the $47,000 for the new playground.

“It’s important for the kids that are in the school but it’s also important for the greater community too,” said Catherine Dubois, past-president of the Doncaster PAC. “It’s important to have something they’ll use and enjoy, both inside and outside of school. We felt really strongly to bring back monkey bars because they were very missed.”

The old wooden playground was constructed back in the early 1980s, and Dubois said it was no surprise when it was removed about two years ago.

“Since about 2009 we’ve been putting aside money out of the budget,” she said. “We knew the others had to go so we knew we had to seriously fundraise.”

And the PAC’s work isn’t done yet. Dubois said another playground at the school is still in need of replacement, estimating $100,000 is still needed for the remainder of the work.